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Sexual Harassment and Other Stories

November 1, 2017
Weekly Roundup
2 min read
Sexual Harassment and Other Stories

Dear friends,

The shocking details of Iranian authorities’ persistent attacks on BBC Persian staff continue to emerge. IranWire recently spoke to several journalists who have faced intimidation, smear campaigns and had their assets frozen. To date, 152 journalists have been targeted. What’s most unbearable is the way that the families of journalists are increasingly targeted. The BBC has spoken out, insisting that Iran’s violation of these journalists’ human rights directly contravenes the country’s constitution. The UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression has also appealed to the UN. 

The Iranian government is good at ignoring its obligations under any kind of law, whether domestic or foreign, and at coming up with excuses of why its citizens should be tortured, detained and even killed. The story of Ahmad Reza Jalali, a disaster medicine specialist with Swedish residency, is heartbreaking. He’s been sentenced to death for being a “Mossad spy.” A global group of scientists has appealed to the Iranian Academy of Medical Sciences to do everything it can to secure his freedom. But whether it’s the UN or other bodies, Tehran doesn’t seem to be listening. As IranWire regularly reports, there are many more cases of persecution and injustice — including Iran’s Baha’is — and there is no sign of it letting up. 

We've had some reasons to be cheerful in recent weeks. Today we heard of the release of Fariba Kamalabadi, a Baha’i who was jailed for nearly 10 years for simply supporting her community. Her release follows on from that of Mahvash Sabet last month. Of course, this doesn’t mean the end of problems for Baha’is — only two weeks ago Bahai’s were arrested ahead of important holy days and Baha’i shops were recently sealed up — but it is a cause for celebration nonetheless, and energizes efforts to keep working for a more equal and progressive Iran. 

The twists and turns of Iran’s inner political battles are endless, and this week, the Chief of Staff of Iran’s Armed Forces weighed in on sanctions and the nuclear deal. His comments reveal that, despite sustained pressure from hardliners, President Rouhani and his administration are still on firm ground when it comes to keeping the JCPOA in tact. If the US can just hold off introducing new sanctions, a relative degree of steadiness will be maintained, at least for the moment. But of course, it won’t be long before Iran’s hardliner conservatives strike back, and then a new chapter in this ongoing, debilitating internal war will be underway. 

As always, please let me know if you have any comments. 

Warm regards 



Ayatollah Khamenei: Go Forth and Multiply!

October 31, 2017
Aida Ghajar
6 min read
Ayatollah Khamenei: Go Forth and Multiply!